BOSNIA MEDIATORS ADMIT PLAN'S FAILURE Conceding the failure of an internationally endorsed peace plan, mediators yesterday urged Bosnia's Muslim-led government to accept a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina among its three warring ethnic groups. European Community envoy Lord David Owen said the likely division of Bosnia would be "inferior" to the so-called Vance-Owen plan for 10 autonomous provinces. But he said the fighting on the ground afforded no alternative. "There is a tiredness of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and I think most people beli eve we've got to bring this to an end with as much honor as possible," he said. US productivity down

The productivity of American workers fell 1.6 percent from January through March, the first decline in two years, the government said yesterday. But despite the overall decline, manufacturing productivity shot up 4.8 percent, including an 8.6 percent jump in factories that make long-lasting goods such as appliances. The Labor Department said the revised, seasonally adjusted decline in overall productivity was markedly greater than the 0.1 percent decline in its initial estimate last month.

Economists say that increased productivity is necessary to increase living standards and make American products more competitive in overseas markets. Clinton approves logging

Environmentalists say the Clinton administration is pursuing a Northwest forest strategy that would allow logging within spotted owl reserves, a move they say would further damage the old-growth ecosystem.

Since the northern spotted owl was declared a threatened species in June 1990, most of the protection plans developed by government scientists have prohibited logging on government lands. The new management approach described to environmental leaders by Clinton officials Wednesday is favored by the timber industry and some scientists exploring ways to allow limited logging on those lands. UN imposes Haiti embargo

Fed up with the recalcitrance of Haiti's military leadership, the UN Security Council on Wednesday gave the country's rulers one week to restore exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power or face an oil embargo and other sanctions.

The Haitian Army and elite are hostile to Mr. Aristide a Roman Catholic priest popular among the poor and have resisted pressure to accept his return. Hundreds of people were killed in the coup that ousted Aristide, Haiti's first democratically elected president.

The Security Council brushed aside a halfhearted attempt by Haiti's parliament to blunt sanctions. The parliament on Tuesday recognized Aristide as Haiti's legitimate leader but refused to set a date for his return. India's Rao backed

Indian Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao's Congress Party expressed confidence in his leadership yesterday after he was accused of taking money from a flamboyant broker at the center of India's biggest financial scandal. Mr. Rao has flatly denied charges that he took a $320,000 undeclared campaign contribution from the broker at his residence, days before he won a crucial parliamentary by-election.

Most opposition parties have called for Rao's resignation, but the prime minister appears ready to ride out what he terms the broker's malicious and unfounded charges. Malawians demand ouster

Life President H. Kamuzu Banda huddled with aides yesterday, while opponents called for his resignation following a non-binding referendum that rejected his one-party rule. Final results showed 64 percent of the 3.1 million voters preferred a multiparty system over the iron-fisted rule imposed by Mr. Banda since he gained power at Malawi's independence from Britain in 1964.

Banda, believed to be in his 90s, has long said his people prefer a one-party system reminiscent of traditional African tribal rule by chieftains.

The opposition has demanded parliamentary and presidential elections by December, confident they would oust Banda and the Malawi Congress Party.

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